Holy Orders

"Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time…It includes three degrees of order: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate" (CCC 1536). Deacons, priest and bishops are essential to the Catholic Church because we believe that they continue the work begun by the apostles. 

Since the beginning, the ordained ministry has been conferred and exercised in three degrees: that of bishops, that of presbyters, and that of deacons. The ministries conferred by ordination are irreplaceable for the organic structure of the Church: without the bishop, presbyters, and deacons, one cannot speak of the Church. (CCC 1593)

Ordination is the rite at which the Sacrament of Holy Orders is bestowed. The bishop confers the Sacrament of Holy Orders by the laying on of hands which confers on a man the grace and spiritual power to celebrate the Church’s sacraments.

The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by the laying on of hands followed by a solemn prayer of consecration asking God to grant the ordained the graces of the Holy Spirit required for his ministry. Ordination imprints an indelible sacramental character. (CCC 1597)

Why are Holy Orders important?

By means of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, Jesus made sure that men and women throughout all time and history could have access to the other six saving sacraments so as to save their souls and restore them to communion with with God.  For without bishops and priests we would not be able to be purified of our sins through baptism, receive our Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist, or receive absolution for our sins. 

Therefore, it is so important that we encourage our sons to pursue this most holy and noble vocation.  We should pray fervently that they and many other young men will respond to God's call to preach the Gospel to all nations and save as many souls as possible.  Click here, or on the adjacent link for a complete list of many beautiful prayers for vocations.  Pick one you like and pray it every day!

We are grateful for the men who have already responded to God's call to serve the Church.  Pray for our priests and deacons often.  May God give them strength and courage to preach the Gospel with love and truth!

To speak with someone personally about a possible vocation to the priesthood, please contact Bishop Choby, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of 615-783-0761, at (615) 383-6393or visit at http://nashvillepriest.com/, the diocesean website more details :


and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)

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